Sunday, October 16, 2011

Deschutes Jubelale review

Deschutes Jubelale 2011Is it winter time already? It must be close since Deschutes Brewery has already put out this year's (2011) version of their annual winter ale: Deschutes Jubelale. This year's label shows a close up of a winter reveler tossing up a snowball, wearing a scarf and holding a glass of beer wearing a big knit mitten.

It may only be October and it was still warm outside but I found this new brew freshly stocked at the liquor store and I wanted to try it. Jubelale weighed in at a respectible 6.7% ABV and had a "Best By" date of 04/03/12 - so I knew this bottle was from this year at least.

This beer has long been a holiday classic for the brewery. Deschutes describes this beer as a (English) Strong Ale / Festive Winter Ale. It's won several awards since 1990 including a Gold Medal at the 2006 World Beer Championships and a Silver Medal at the 1991 Great American Beer Festival.

Appearance: Jubelale poured a dark mahagony or garnet red, nearly brown, with ruby red edges. The tan head grew quickly on this brew and rose so fast that it just overflowed the edge of the glass. Held up to the light I could just barely see all the way through this beer at some points.

Aroma: Jubelale had a very inviting earthy aroma. It had notes of dark caramel malt and a hint of hops. The malts dominate the scent. I could get hints of roasted malt and pine. I could also sense a bit of dark fruit in the nose.

Taste: This brew had a nice full bodied feel with rich malts, some caramel/toffee flavors and a slightly bitter finish. Jubelale drank smooth and dry. The malt was dominant, but was bittered sufficiently to keep it from being sweet. I got a slightly warming feeling soon after I started drinking it. At 6.7% ABV its just enough to give you notice that this wasn't a session beer.

Overall: This is the type of beer I would definitely welcome on a cold winter day. Even in the cool fall, it tasted great as a stand alone brew. This beer would go well with beef dishes, sharp cheeses or perhaps a light dessert.

It seems I can always count on Deschutes to put out a good beer. I've yet to taste one that didn't live up to my expectations. I will definitely recommend this beer to others. It tasted good both cold and as it warmed. Here's to the coming holidays!

Video showing the pour of Deschutes Jubelale:

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Related articles:
- Deschutes The Stoic review.
- Deschutes 19th Anniversary Golden Ale review.
- Deschutes Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale review.
- Deschutes The Abyss review.

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